Outside of Christmas and their birthdays, there may be no time of the year that your kids look forward to more than summer. With no school comes the added time to head outside and enjoy adventures with friends. Sadly, as some of the Bridgeport residents that we here at Miller, Rosnick, D’Amico, August and Butler, P.C. can attest to, such adventures sometime end in tragedy. Kids (especially young ones) often do not fully comprehend the dangers that features such as swimming pools, construction site, abandoned buildings and lakes or rivers can pose. If you are not there to protect, then who is responsible for their safety?
Property owners are responsible for protecting visitors from any potential hazards that may exist on their lands. That may be much easier to do if they are aware of their presence. Yet take the example of an abandoned or currently unused building. If no one is ever around, who is to know if someone enters the property? If that someone is then injured, is the property owner still liable, even if he or she did not know that person was there?
In the case if children, yes. According to the Legal Information Institute, the attractive nuisance doctrine assigns liability to owners when children are injured by features of their properties. This principle recognizes that children may not have the judgment to understand the danger that a particular property feature poses. Thus, if your child is injured while playing on another’s property, this doctrine offers you some degree or recourse. Be aware, however, that it also absolves a property owner of liability if he or she took steps to protect kids from the dangers on his or her land.
More information on assigning liability for personal injury claims can found throughout our site.